Saturday, June 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 30, 1862

Friday 30th [May 1862]

A few days ago, I believe on the 25th, Ewell and Edward Johnson with a part of Jackson's command attacked Banks routed him and drove him out of Winchester, Martinsburg, and Harpers Ferry and across the Potomac. There has been a panic in Washington in consequence. The militia in the different states has been called out to protect the Capitol. They think Jackson will attempt to get there. I have no idea that he will.

We learn all this from the Yankee papers. They say it is the only defeat they have had since the battle of Manassas!!! and they have made the best of it I am sure.

What a contrast between the papers of this week saying that the Capitol is in imminent danger --- and those of a few days before speaking of the rebellion as crushed and almost extinct.

The army that advanced from here a few days ago have returned, and gone towards Winchester to cut off Jackson, or attack him in the rear. When they passed through here the men looked very quizzical. One of them called up to us at the window "Never mind --- we are coming back in a few days."

We can hear nothing from the enemies near Richmond except that the enemy have Hanover C.H.

The James river, they say, is impassable to their gun boats. We have blocked it up completely. Why does not Johnson attack McClelland while this army is away? What is he waiting for? for McClelland to intrench himself as he did at Yorktown? Surely he has him far enough away from his gun boats now? are the questions in everybody's mouths. This suspicion is terrible. It is very hard to wait in patient ignorance.

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